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21 May 2017

Sadhu bobbitised for torment in Kerala

K.M. Rakesh, TT, May 20: A law student in Kerala last night cut off the genitals of a sadhu who had been allegedly sexually assaulting her for the past seven years with the knowledge of her mother.
The young woman in Thiruvananthapuram has told police that she had been enduring the abuse since she was 16. She said her mother knew about the crime.
According to the student, 54-year-old Sreehari alias Gangeshananda Theerthapada Swami used to come to her house to perform a puja for her paralytic father.
When Sreehari allegedly tried to sexually assault her around 10.30 last night, she took a knife and cut off his genitals. People in the neighbourhood, alerted by the man's cries, took him to hospital.
Sreehari has been booked under IPC Section 376 for rape and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), considering that the sexual assaults had started when she was a minor.
The police are probing the culpability of the woman's mother. The police commissioner said no action would be taken against the student as she had acted in self-defence.
According to her statement to the police, the student had kept the knife ready when she came to know that Sreehari would come to her house last night.
Commissioner G. Sparjan Kumar said the student rushed to the local police station immediately after the incident.
Sreehari was taken to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and Hospital, where doctors carried out an emergency surgery.
A medical bulletin said the man's penis couldn't be sutured back in place as it had been 90 per cent severed. His condition was stated to be stable after the microsurgery to reconstruct his urinary tract.
Sreehari claimed in front of doctors that he had severed the genitals himself. The police said he made the claim probably to hush up his crime.
"We are conducting a detailed investigation to check his background," commissioner Kumar told reporters.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed the student, saying it was a "brave act".
"Strong action has already been taken, now we will provide support to the girl," Vijayan said.
Initial information suggested Sreehari, who hails from Ernakulam in central Kerala, was attached to the Panmana Ashram in the port city of Kollam. The ashram said it had nothing to do with Sreehari for the past 15 years.
Police sources said some leads suggested that Sreehari had participated in a spiritual programme at the ashram recently.
The police said he would be arrested and taken into custody once he was discharged from the hospital.
Kerala State Women's Commission member Prameela Devi said all support would be provided to the student. Asked about the student's allegation that her mother knew about the atrocities, Prameela said: "Perhaps she was left with no choice when she decided to attack. It is very painful that even her mother didn't stop the sexual assaults."
In May last year, law student Jisha was raped and murdered in Perumbavoor, Ernakulam, a crime that rocked the state.
In February this year, a popular Malayalam actress was kidnapped by a gang of six, including her driver, sexually harassed and filmed by the assailants who drove her around parts of Ernakulam.

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